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Unjust Criticism Forbidden

Posted by tmoney80 on September 24, 2008

Last night I was watching television and a preview for Bill Maher’s new movie “Religulous” came on.  If you don’t know Bill Maher, Wikipedia him, he is pretty famous for his far left liberal views and his outspoken and unapologetic belief that religion, any religion, is “a neurological disorder that justifies crazies and stops people from thinking” and therefore inconsequential (and that may be putting it lightly). Although to be fair to him, he does say…


I’m not an atheist, no. I believe there’s some force, if you want to call it God… I don’t believe God is a single parent who writes books.”


So after seeing the ad, where in it the character “Jesus” says to him in a debate of beliefs “well, what if you’re wrong” and Bill responds with “what if you’re wrong”, I thought to myself, “Wow, this guys is lost and it is evident that sometime in his life he has developed this hatred of sorts for religion.” I then immediately prayed that God would soften his heart towards the truth about faith in Christ and lead someone to love him to Christ. After my short prayer, I thought to myself, “you know, if he died today he would go to hell.” Mind you this thought was not out of judgmental hatred for Bill Maher but out of genuine concern for his soul.


So here in lies my question. Some people would say that what I thought was wrong. To strengthen their point they will quote the verse in Matthew 7:1-3 where Jesus says: 


1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?


However, I believe the thought I had was legit. Because according to Matthew 10:32 Jesus says…


32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.


And in Romans 10:9-10 Paul says…


9 …that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


And again in Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus says…


15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.


These verses make it clear the requirements for salvation in Christ and how to see it manifested in man.  So my question is two fold, first, do you think I was wrong in “judging” the condition of Bill Maher’s soul at this point in his life? If so, how would we decipher who needs Jesus or not?


If you don’t think I was wrong in my assessment, then how are we to interpret the first verse I quoted in Matthew 7:1-3 about judging others?


In my Bible the summary title for that group of verses in Matthew 7 is “Unjust Criticism Forbidden”. Notice it doesn’t say “Criticism Forbidden” but “Unjust Criticism Forbidden”. Obviously the summary titles are man’s interpretation of what’s written and not necessarily part of God’s spoken word.


I think what I thought about Bill Maher is not against the teachings of scripture.  However, what I do or how I act with that judgment is a different story and there in can lay a whole list of unbiblical thoughts and behaviors. I believe it is what we do with our judgments that can lead to sin, not so much the judgments themselves. Since justice comes out of love, it’s through love that I would even care for the salvation of others and through justice (the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral righteousness) that I would know whether someone’s life bears good fruit or bad fruit.

My mom made a good point about this in saying it is important to use the correct wordage. She said:

Hope this answers your question. It is all in the terminolgy of ‘Judging’ as opposed to observing or discerning. We know when a person commits a wrong act or speaks against what we know to be true (from the Bible). We are not judging the person, we are discerning that they are wrong. We also know that people who don’t accept Jesus, won’t want to be with Jesus forever, so therefore they send themselves to a place where they will never have to worship him (Hell).

For more go to:


Great point…50 points for mom! 


I am looking to come to a better understanding of the scripture…looking to study to show myself approved. So please offer your thoughts and beliefs on this, what say you?…Ready, set, go!   


One Response to “Unjust Criticism Forbidden”

  1. Hammer said

    Tom,it’s all a matter of choice. Judgment doesn’t come into play in this scenerio. Although we may not agree with the choices that people make or we understand the consequences of the choices they make, it is still their choice. Geddy Lee: “you can choose a ready guide with some celestial voice; if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice; you can choose from phantom fears or kindness that can kill; I will choose a path that’s clear, I will choose Freewill”. Whether that makes any sense is debatable but the fact is that we have free will and our choices are ours to make. It doesn’t mean that we can’t try to lead people to make good decisions but ultimately, the choice is up to each individual. In Bill Maher’s case, you’re not judging him, you are recognizing that he needs to understand the truth to make an informed decision. But whatever the decision, it’s his to make.

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